You can make nuts glow, people! Glowing nuts!

Illustration for article titled You can make nuts glow, people! Glowing nuts!

A week ago I urged you to light your house by setting nuts on fire. I was a fool! All you need to do is hit those nuts with a laser, and they'll glow all by themselves.


I, personally, happen to like the scent of burning pumpkin so much that in years when I couldn't get my hands on my own jack-o-lanterns I used to creep up on porches and huff other people's pumpkins. (That actually would make for one of those good, vague horror stories all on its own. "Don't go out on Halloween night, kids. The internet people could be on the porch, smelling your pumpkins.") But not everyone is a fan. How do you light up your house without smelling burnt produce?


You get your produce to fluoresce! It turns out that nut oils fluoresce quite well. We don't generally notice it because they are most sensitive not to the common-as-cat-toys red lasers, but to the higher energy blue lasers. Hit a nut oil with a laser that gives off light with a wavelength of about 450 nanometers, and you'll get a 530 nanometer light in return. In other words, hit them with a blue laser, and they'll often glow green. Because nuts have particles of oil on them, they will give off a green-orange glow when they're hit with a blue laser. So if you don't want to light a house with pumpkins, or even light any candles, just order a bunch of blue lasers and shine them through jars of nut oil and onto dishes of nuts, and light up your night.

Via The Naked Scientists

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Any way to use this to detect nuts in homemade Halloween treats?

We have a kid with a nut allergy, and it would be great to be able to screen things more easily, and maybe even find out which things that "may contain nuts" actually do.